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Questions to ask before signing a commercial lease

As a California business owner, you probably have a checklist you keep that tracks your preferences or needs in a commercial rental property. While inquiring about square footage, signage and other elements of a prospective rental is important when discussing a possible lease with a landlord, so, too, is covering certain areas relating to the terms of the lease itself. At Kashfian & Kashfian, LLP, we are well-versed in the types of matters that often cause disputes between commercial tenants and landlords, and we have helped many commercial tenants comprehend complicated lease agreements and make sure they are getting fair deals.

Per SmallBusiness.Chron.com, commercial tenants typically have more responsibilities with regard to their rentals than residential tenants, which is why it is particularly important that you fully understand exactly what you are agreeing to when signing a lease. For example, while residential landlords are typically responsible for ensuring a rental remains habitable, commercial landlords may not have the same responsibility, unless the lease agreement specifically indicates otherwise.

Have unfair practices damaged your business?

If you are like many business owners, you know what it means to make sacrifices for your company. You may rarely see your family, that is, if you have even taken the time to start one. Can you remember the last time you took a vacation? Have you lost track of the amount of money you have invested in this venture?

Even when you consider the sacrifices you have made, it all seems worth it when you see the success your California company is having. However, nothing can prepare you for the emotions you felt when you learned that a competing business was using deceptive tactics that were causing damage to your hard work. After all your sacrifices, you are not ready to allow unfair competition to jeopardize your success.

What to include in a non-disclosure agreement

As a California business owner, chances are, you exercise care before hiring someone new, and you make efforts to ensure that the people you hire use discretion when it comes to sharing important information about your business. What happens, though, when someone you placed in a position of trust chooses to leave your operation and sign on at a competitors? At Kashfian & Kashfian, LLP, we recognize the importance of protecting your business’s trade secrets and intellectual property, and we have helped many California business owners establish non-disclosure agreements in an effort to better protect them.

Per Forbes, while the exact contents of your non-disclosure agreement will typically vary broadly based on your business’s specific needs, there are several key elements that the majority of today’s business owners choose to include. Additionally, it may benefit you and your company to keep your non-disclosure agreement relatively concise, as if it becomes too long or complicated, your employees may miss its key points.

When your business partner breaches a contract

As a California business owner who is also part of a partnership, you may understand all too well that maintaining a successful business partnership is not always easy. When there are “too many cooks in the kitchen,” so to speak, it can be difficult to make decisions that please everyone with a say in the matter, and in some cases, business partners find that they have little choice other than to part ways. This scenario becomes increasingly likely when one partner in the agreement breaches a contract in the eyes of another. At Kashfian & Kashfian, LLP, we have a firm grasp of these and other issues commonly faced by business partners, and we have helped many clients looking to hold their partners accountable for contract breaches make efforts to do so.

Per SmallBusiness.Chron.com, you may have several distinct options at your disposal if your business partner breaches a contract. In one scenario, you may be able to attempt to hold your partner liable for the contract breach by suing them. Whether you can ultimately try to do this depends on exactly what type of contract breach occurred. If the breach involved, say, misappropriation of partnership assets, you may be able to move forward with a lawsuit. If, however, your partner decided simply to leave your partnership, and your contract does not dictate exactly how long your partnership was to last, this may not constitute a breach of contract.

How to properly evict a commercial tenant

As a California commercial landlord, you probably know that the rules governing your landlord-tenant relationships differ from those that apply to residential landlord-tenant relationships. While residential tenants typically have more protection that commercial tenants in the eyes of the law, there are still certain processes you must follow when dealing with commercial tenants if you wish to avoid potential litigation. At Kashfian & Kashfian LLP, we understand the process involved in evicting a commercial tenant, and we have helped many clients navigate their way through similar scenarios while staying on the right side of the law.

Per SmallBusiness.Chron.com, whether you ultimately have grounds to evict a commercial tenant depends on what you included in the original terms of your lease. If your commercial tenant clearly broke lease terms, which he or she may do by, say, failing to pay rent on time or using the property for an unintended purpose, you may have legal standing to evict him or her. Make sure before doing so, however, that your lease agreement does not allow for a grace period as far as paying rent. If it does, you must wait until the grace period has passed to begin the process of evicting your tenant.

Protecting your business's trade secrets

As a California small business owner, chances are, there are certain aspects about your business that give it a leg up on the competition. Maybe your trade secrets involve certain recipes or processes, or maybe you have spent the last several years creating a solid database of customer information you use in your marketing efforts. Regardless of the types of trade secrets you have, you must protect them if you want them to retain their value. At Kashfian & Kashfian, LLP, we recognize the critical nature of protecting your business's intellectual property, and we have helped many small business owners make necessary efforts to do so.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, once you have a firm understanding of what your business's trade secrets are, you can determine how best to protect them. If, for example, you have trade secrets on actual paper, you will likely want to limit access to them by storing them appropriately, which typically means in a locked file cabinet or similarly secure area.

Why You Should Not File A Judgment Roll Appeal

The California Rules of Court allow an appellant (i.e., the person appealing the judgment or order) to appeal on what is known as a judgment roll; however, doing so would be a big mistake, because, although the costs of a judgment roll appeal are less, the standard for prevailing on a judgment roll appeal is very difficult. For this reason, filing a judgment roll appeal is strongly discouraged. At Kashfian & Kashfian, LLP, we have experience with filing appeals, and as your counselor, we will fight vigorously on your behalf. Contact our offices to learn more about the services that we provide.

How To Assert And Defend Against A Pre-Trial Writ Of Attachment

Sometimes, creditors are not satisfied with merely filing a lawsuit and waiting till the end of trial to obtain assets to satisfy the judgement. Instead, some creditors seek more rapid, immediate relief, by filing what is called a pre-trial writ of attachment motion, which allows them to attach property that the defendant owns even before the debtor has answered the lawsuit. Legally, speaking, an attachment is a prejudgment remedy providing for the seizure of one or more of the defendant's (or cross-defendant's) assets to aid in the collection of a money demand pending the outcome of the trial of the action. (Whitehouse v. Six Corp. (1995) 40 Cal.App.4th 527, 533.) This article will address the legal issues surrounding a pre-trial writ of attachment, its nuances, how to assert a pre-trial writ of attachment, and how to defend against one. At Kashfian & Kashfian, LLP, we have experience with filing and opposing pre-trial writ of attachment motions, and as your counselor, we will fight vigorously on your behalf. Contact our offices to learn more about the services that we provide.

Using California's Anti-SLAPP Statute to Protect Your Pre-Litigation Letters

As often happens before a party files a lawsuit, letters are sent between the parties (establishing their respective positions) and, sometimes, witnesses. These types of letters are referred to as "pre-litigation letters".  Because parties to a lawsuit have diverging opinions as to what transpired, one party will occasionally declare the other party's pre-litigation letter false (or defamatory) and file a lawsuit based on the other party's pre-litigation letter, asserting various causes of action, including but not limited to libel, defamation, tortious interference, etc.

Is the Covenant Recorded Against My Property Binding On Me As A Successor In Interest?

So, you purchased a property or are thinking about purchasing a property with a covenant (or a deed restriction) recorded against the property, and you want to determine whether the covenant is or would be binding on you as the new owner (legally, termed "a successor in interest"). The answer depends on how the covenant (or the deed restriction) was written, because "whether a covenant binds successors of a party to it" is a "question[] of contractual intent." (Harrison v. Domergue (1969) 274 Cal.App.2d 19, 22 (Harrison) [emphasis added].) This article will provide some guidance on how to make that determination, but, ultimately, you should consult a lawyer. At Kashfian & Kashfian, LLP, we have experience in defending actions seeking to enforce restrictive covenants, including having such covenants declared unenforceable, (see Case Results), and as your counselor, we will fight vigorously on your behalf. Contact our offices to learn more about the services that we provide.

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